Freeport Police Officer Sandy De La Cruz Found Dead In Patrol Car
Officer Sandy De La Cruz Found Dead In Apparent Suicide
Freeport, NY – Freeport Police are investigating what they have described as a non-criminal death of one of their officers on Thursday evening. Officer Sandy De La Cruz was found in her patrol car on duty, with what they believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Freeport Police rushed to the scene of a shots fired call on Thursday just after 8 PM. Law enforcement flooded the area of North Bayview and Randall Ave, and discovered officer Sandy De La Cruz dead from an apparent suicide.
Mayor Robert Kennedy made a statement after the shooting, saying, “Officer De La Cruz was a decorated 11-year veteran of the Freeport Police Department who started her career in the New York City Police Department. We are all in shock-police, staff, and residents. She was an asset to the community and a great person.”
Officer Sandy De La Cruz was married with two children.
Law enforcement suicide has often remained veiled as officers struggle with aspects of the job. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly 1 in 4 police officers have thought about suicide at some point in their life. 7 to 19 percent of police officers also have symptoms of PTSD, according to NAMI. That is compared to the 3.5 percent among the general public. Overall the suicide rate in law enforcement is 2.3 times that of homicides.
In recent years, many advocates have stepped forward in police departments all across the country, hoping to get resources in place. In 2014, the International Assciaton of Chiefs of Poice (IACP) published a book on the topic, “Breaking the Silence on Law Enforcement Suicides.”
“But our collective silence only compounds the problem. By ignoring the issue, we implicitly promote the unqualified expectation that police must, without question, be brave, steadfast, and resilient. Our refusal to speak openly about the issue perpetuates the stigma many officers hold about mental health issues-the stigma that depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide are signs of weakness and failure, not cries for help.”
If you are struggling with thoughts of depression and need help, please remember you are not alone. Even the bravest of souls needs help sometimes.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family both blood and blue of hero Officer Sandy De La Cruz.
For more resources, please visit www.badgeoflife.com
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